Saturday, September 20, 2008

Coastal Clean Up Day 2008

My kids and I had a fun adventure today. We climbed down a steep bluff overlooking a secluded patch of Marin coastline to participate in the 23rd Annual Coastal Clean Up Day.

We joined an estimated 55,000-plus volunteers statewide who collected 742,154 pounds of debris, according to early reports. Of that, organizers say 106,500 pounds were recyclable.

Weston, Sofia and I found lots of interesting stuff — mostly plastic, but some metal objects, wood debris, and even clothing. We filled several bags with junk. Lots of cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, plastic bags, bottle caps, disposable lighters, and food wrappers.

In terms of UNSUSTAINABLE SWAG, we found several custom branded disposable cigarette lighters, 2 weathered baseball caps, and several pens with logos on them. The oddest thing we found was a pair of men's briefs. Must be a story there. My kids found them very amusing.

Sadly, over the course of several hours of combing the beach, we counted 24 dead birds in various states of decay. This may or may not have to do with the way we're treating their habitat and our environment, but it was troubling to see.

Above is a photo our young crew next to one of the cool posters used to promote the event. Also backside of the T-shirts given to volunteers. Too bad they weren't organic. Next year we need to hook up the organizers up with eco imprints.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

100 Million Reasons Not To Use Junk Mail!

Direct mail can be an effective form of advertising and promotion, but as marketers it's time we consider not only how annoying unwanted mail solicitations can be — but the impact this practice has on our planet.

According to a recent report by ForestEthics — the nonprofit whose mission is to protect endangered forests — more than 100 BILLION pieces of junk mail are delivered in the U.S. each year. This creates more than 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases — the emissions equivalent of over nine million cars! 

The report notes that 100 million trees are cut each year to generate junk mail. 

That's 100 million reasons to rethink your direct marketing campaign.

Along with the junk mail report the ForestEthics group stressed the importance of their campaign and petition for a Do Not Mail Registry “to give Americans the choice to stop receiving junk mail.”

At our partner firm, eco imprints, we work with clients to create promotional strategies that don't involve junk mail or excessive use of materials that are wasteful. All of our own marketing is done digitally, through SPAM-free email blasts to responsible organizations who want our information. When mailing needs to be done, we make sure it's going to people who want it, and we use high content recycled materials.

Rethink direct mail marketing. The planet will thank you and your brand's reputation will benefit.